Harvest Day is September 27 at WV’s Cass Scenic Railroad State Park

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Cass Scenic Railroad State ParkCass Scenic Railroad State Park will be hosting Harvest Day on Saturday, September 27. “This is a great family event full of old fashioned fun, live entertainment, and fall colors, capped with a special evening dinner train to Whittaker Station, “according to Dave Caplinger, Park Superintendent.  This event is in addition to Cass’s regular excursions and interpretive programs during the day.

The day includes Mountain dance master Lou Maiuri demonstrating and teaching square dancing and traditional Appalachian dance.  Antique farm engines and tractors will be on display, many of them operating.

Joe Holbrook and his “Live Steamers” will be offering free train rides on his miniature live steam train. Miniature trains are a duplication of existing engines, operational, and can accommodate passengers.

The day will feature 22 antique farm engine demonstrators to add to the harvest atmosphere.

Visitors may also try their hand at Irish Road Bowling and will have the opportunity to blow the whistle on a genuine Cass locomotive.  There will be story telling, blacksmithing, local crafts and wares, and other surprises designed to make it a memorable day for all ages. “Harvest Day is a day full of traditions and all things Cass,” said Supt. Caplinger.

Harvest Day is also about community spirit.  Cass Volunteer Fire and Rescue will be taking blood pressures, pulse rates, sugar and oxygen levels free of charge.  The Last Run Restaurant will be open, featuring food preparation by the Bodkin sisters.  Lefty Meeks will be barbering 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The “Harvest Special” train will depart at 5 p.m. and will feature a buffet meal, live bluegrass music and special treats.  All events are free of charge except for Cass train rides and the evening harvest special train, making this a terrific value. Train schedules, event times, and general park information can be viewed at www.cassrailroad.com.  Call ahead for train reservations and further Harvest Day information at 304-456-4300.

Additional information:

Lefty Meeks – Cass Barber

Lyle “Lefty” Meeks has been cutting hair in the town of Cass for the past 60 years. His barber’s pole still hangs where it always has in a shaded, quiet corner of the 107 year old lumber company town, now preserved as Cass Scenic Railroad State Park.

Irish Road Bowling

“Irish Road Bowling is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and have fun playing an old sport that’s gaining in popularity,” according to Cass Supt. Dave Caplinger. 

Irish Road Bowling makes use of a ball made out of iron and steel that is heavy enough to pick up speed, yet small enough for any person to handle. “Besides the basic rules and terms, all you do is hurl a 28 oz. ‘bowl’ with an underhand motion over a one-to-two mile country road and see how far it goes! The game is scored like golf, with the fewest number of shots from the start to the finish line winning.

Irish Road Bowling is ideal for young athletes or seniors who are looking to enjoy a scenic walk on a country road, combined with an ancient and exciting, but not overly strenuous, sport.

Lou Mauiri – Square Dancing and Appalachian Dance

Lou Maiuri was teaching dance long before Dancing with the Stars debuted or Travolta and Swayze made dance popular again. Maiuri is a dance instructor of traditional Appalachian dance and modern line dancing. He has won many awards in competition, including three national championships and is the director and founder of Appalachian Country Cloggers. Bringing traditional dance and instruction to West Virginia State Parks is a labor of love for Maiuri – his love of people and his love for dance is obvious when you attend one of Lou’s dance events. Maiuri was the recipient of the 2008 Vandalia Award, a folklife honor. No previous dance experience (or rhythm) is necessary. Come join the tradition – let’s dance!